Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

240

Classical Jazz Quartet: The Complete Recordings

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
The names of Johann Sebastian Bach, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff do not necessarily conjure images and sounds of jazz in one's mind, that is until one has listened to recordings by the Classical Jazz Quartet. Although these musicians utilize the same instruments as the Modern Jazz Quartet, they are in no way clones or copycats of that groundbreaking group. They have very much their own sound and style.

This is not surprising given the huge talent of the musicians involved; all four are virtuosos on their respective instruments. The themes, although composed in a different time and place, become excellent vehicles for complex, sometimes, bluesy, often swinging and always fresh improvisations in the hands of these musicians. And although one might think of any recording billed as "classical meets jazz" as background music, this music definitely is not.

The double CD consists of the group's three previously released recordings, plus one bonus track featuring their interpretation of Handel's Hallelujah. The first set consists of selections from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. The arrangements here are tight, and the group improvisations are logical and very much in the hard bop/post bop tradition. The second set, spanning both CDs, consists of different selections by Bach. The arrangements here are looser and more relaxed, and the style varies from a Latin-tinged Brandenberg Concerto No. 2 to the very bluesy Brandenberg Concerto in A Major.

The third set is where the Latin and blues themes alternate prominently in several of the movements of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor, with an occasional ballad thrown in. The improvisations, by both individual musicians and the group, are uniquely fresh, especially the way they play off each other and the main musical theme. Each instrument is used as both a front-line instrument and part of the rhythm section.

The members of the group are musically compatible, both in their ensemble playing and in the way they support each soloist. The music in no way diminishes from the value of the masterpieces interpreted here; instead it sheds new and fresh light on them, and by doing so, it affirms yet once more the universality and timelessness of music.

No, the names of Johann Sebastian Bach, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff do not necessarily conjure images and sounds of jazz in one's mind, but maybe they should—because brilliant music is thought-provoking, uplifting and enjoyable, no matter what the label.


Track Listing: The Nutracker Suite Overture Miniature; The Nutracker Suite March; The Nutracker Suite Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy; The Nutracker Suite Russian Dance Trepack; The Nutracker Suite Arabian Dance; The Nutracker Suite Chinese Dance; The Nutracker Suite Dance of the Reeds; The Nutracker Suite Waltz of the Flowers; Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring; BWV 1055 Oboe Concerto in a Major, 2nd Movement; BWV 1047 Brandenburg Concerto #2 in F Major, 1st Movement; BWV 775 Invention #4; BWV 1047 Brandenburg Concerto in a Major, 2nd Movement; Air; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 1, Pt. 1; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 1, Pt. 2; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 1, Pt. 3; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 1, Pt. 4; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 1, Pt. 5; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 2, Pt. 1; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 2, Pt. 2; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 3, Pt. 1; Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor Movement 3, Pt. 2; Hallelujah.

Personnel: Kenny Barron: piano; Stefon Harris: vibraphone, marimba; Ron Carter: acoustic bass; Lewis Nash: drums.

Title: The Complete Recordings | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Vertical Jazz Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Complete Recordings

The Complete...

Vertical Jazz Records
2006

buy
 

Plays Bach

Classical Jazz
2003

buy
Plays Bach

Plays Bach

Vertical Jazz Records
2002

buy
Tchaikovsky's

Tchaikovsky's "The...

Vertical Jazz Records
2001

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Infection In The Sentence Album Reviews
Infection In The Sentence
By Chris May
February 18, 2019
Read Real Isn't Real Album Reviews
Real Isn't Real
By Phil Barnes
February 18, 2019
Read Citizen Album Reviews
Citizen
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs Album Reviews
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs
By Doug Hall
February 18, 2019
Read Narrow Escape Album Reviews
Narrow Escape
By Roger Farbey
February 18, 2019
Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019